Wyndham City Council is committed to advancing urban innovation to make cities better and working with the sector, businesses, universities and city leaders to solve the problems that cities face.

The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program is aimed at supporting projects that apply innovative technology-based approaches to improve the liveability of cities and their suburbs. Wyndham City Council was awarded grant funding from the Australian Government to use ‘Holographic Computing to Decode Our Cities’.

Having successfully deployed WynLens, late last year, this complex project using relatively unexplored, greenfield technology is about streaming three-dimensional city models and real-time data layers for presentation in augmented reality environments like that offered by Microsoft HoloLens. The newly built platform has been named CityLens since the holographic solution will be designed to handle streamed three-dimensional data from not just across Wyndham but anywhere in Australia.

Every step has been an adventure into the unknown and required agile thinking and entrepreneurial spirit and the project team is pleased to have reached a number of milestones over the past six weeks, namely:

  • The map backdrop in CityLens uses cached OpenStreetMap tiles which are then streamed from an Amazon cloud host.
  • Have completed the creation of a single city model by blending a city model generated from building footprint extrusions and the CBD model captured from drone footage.
  • To more easily consume city models on the HoloLens device, the project team had to convert three-dimensional city models from traditional formats such as obj and KML into Cesium 3Dtiles, a process constructed using FME Workflows to break down larger models into more manageable blocks.
  • The project team then developed code to render the Cesium 3D tiles on the HoloLens device.  This provides a streamable 3D format that pushes a lot of the computational complexity back to a server, allowing the app to display large 3D models across the whole of Australia on a mobile AR headset.

The next stage of the CityLens project will be incredibly exciting - the two key milestones currently being researched and implemented are:

  • The merging of the city models with proposed development layers to create a three-dimensional vision of our future cities.
  • Pulling live Internet of Things (IoT) data through API endpoints for display on the HoloLens device

The project team are currently in a product and app development phase. As part of this work we are working towards understanding how CityLens can be rolled out across the local government sector and with other partners such as universities and planning and utility authorities. Interested parties can contact the project team via email smartcity@wyndham.vic.gov.au.

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